While these two projects based on the Civil War started with a couple of people outlining a proposal for grants, developing the programming requires more people, more meetings, lots of conversation, & good brainstorming. So, where did we start once we were awarded the grants?
Since each grant required the commitment of a humanities scholar for the application, we first met with Dr. Tom Jones, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences & associate professor of history at Taylor University. Our first task was to consider people from the community who might be interested in working on this project; people with a passion for the history of the Civil War. Several names rose to the top of the list:
- Ed Breen
- Mike Cline
- Stan Tyner
- Tim Enyeart
Marion Public Library staff includes
- Rhonda Stoffer, Head of Indiana History & Genealogy
- Mary Eckerle, library director
- Kristen Gioe, teen librarian
- Sue Bratton, special projects coordinator
Tom Jones presented the idea that we should work to bring the Civil War to the local level, to Grant County. In the mid-1800s Grant County was home to many people whose roots stretched back to southern states. It was also home to many Quakers, abolitionists by their religion. Not everyone in the area shared the same opinion when it came to the issues that started the Civil War. Families & churches were divided. Even into the 20th century people held onto feelings from an earlier time.
So, our goal is to develop programs through the guidelines of each grant that demonstrate how the Civil War affected people who lived here in Grant County, Indiana. Stay tuned to see what’s coming up.